Pressure-Side vs. Suction-Side Pool Cleaners: Which Is Right for You?

When it comes to keeping your pool clean, choosing the right pool cleaner is essential. Two popular options are pressure-side and suction-side pool cleaners. But what are the differences between them, and which one is best suited for your pool? In this blog post, we’ll explore the characteristics, pros, and cons of pressure-side and suction-side pool cleaners to help you make an informed decision.

Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners

Pressure-side pool cleaners operate by using the water pressure generated by your pool’s pump to move the cleaner around the pool. Here are some key characteristics, pros, and cons:


  1. Efficient Cleaning: Pressure-side cleaners are known for their efficient cleaning capabilities, as they use the force of water pressure to propel the cleaner across the pool surface while simultaneously vacuuming debris.
  2. Independent Operation: Many pressure-side cleaners are equipped with their own debris bags or cartridges, allowing them to operate independently of your pool’s filtration system and reducing strain on the pump and filter.
  3. Effective for Large Debris: Pressure-side cleaners are particularly effective at picking up larger debris such as leaves, twigs, and pebbles, preventing them from clogging your pool’s filtration system.


  1. Higher Cost: Pressure-side cleaners tend to be more expensive upfront compared to suction-side cleaners, making them a larger initial investment.
  2. Requires Booster Pump: Some pressure-side cleaners require a booster pump to operate effectively, adding to the overall cost of installation and maintenance.

Suction-Side Pool Cleaners

Suction-side pool cleaners rely on the suction power generated by your pool’s filtration system to operate. Here are their characteristics, pros, and cons:


  1. Affordability: Suction-side cleaners are generally more affordable than pressure-side cleaners, making them a budget-friendly option for pool owners.
  2. Low Maintenance: Since suction-side cleaners rely on your pool’s existing filtration system, they typically require less maintenance and fewer additional components compared to pressure-side cleaners.
  3. Effective for Fine Debris: Suction-side cleaners excel at picking up fine debris such as dirt, sand, and algae, helping to maintain water clarity and cleanliness.


  1. Reduced Cleaning Power: Suction-side cleaners may not be as powerful or efficient at cleaning as pressure-side cleaners, particularly when it comes to larger debris.
  2. Dependent on Filtration System: Suction-side cleaners are reliant on the suction power of your pool’s filtration system, which can reduce overall circulation and filtration efficiency.


When choosing between pressure-side and suction-side pool cleaners, it’s essential to consider your pool’s specific needs, budget, and cleaning requirements. Pressure-side cleaners offer efficient cleaning capabilities and independence from the filtration system but come with a higher upfront cost. On the other hand, suction-side cleaners are more affordable and require less maintenance but may not be as powerful at cleaning larger debris. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your priorities and preferences as a pool owner.